Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Adult Stem Cells Save People; Embryonic Stem Cells, Not So Much

Spanish and British doctors have successfully grown a trachea from a woman's own adult stem cells and replaced her own damaged trachea with it. The team reported their results from the June operation in the Medical Journal Lancet. From the article, emphasis added:

The graft immediately provided the recipient with a functional airway, improved her quality of life, and had a normal appearance and mechanical properties at 4 months. The patient had no anti-donor antibodies and was not on immunosuppressive drugs.
A trachea is not a heart, but the fundamental change in the way twenty-first century medicine will approach first organ failure and then age-related ailments cannot be overstressed.

From The Minority Report and The Independent:
University of Bristol Professor Martin Birchall, who worked with the Spanish team, said, "This is just the beginning. I think it will completely transform the way we think about surgery. In 20 years' time the commonest surgical operations will be regenerative procedures to replace organs and tissues damaged by disease with autologous tissues and organs from the laboratory. We are on the verge of a new age in surgical care."

No children were maimed, harmed, or grown in the lab to be harvested like cattle for the production of this trachea.

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